I never knew having my ears rubbed would feel so good. I just want to close my eyes and sink into that feeling of bliss. Shivers ran from the back of my neck down to my toes, causing my tiny digits to curl. Wait. The Godking was a bastard? Is that what Durandal just said? Was he the type of weapon spirit to shit talk his masters? He did call me stupid….
“What do you mean bastard?” I asked, pulling his hand away from my head. Though I was reluctant to part with his fingers, I wouldn’t be able to think straight if he kept on rubbing me.
“I mean what I say,” Durandal said with a smirk. Did he know what petting did to me? “Forget it. You don’t believe me.”
It’s true. I didn’t believe him. The silver spear in his lap bothered me. “Are you sure you should keep that? It’s bad karma to loot the dead.”
“If that was the case, the Godking wouldn’t be so widely praised. He was the one who taught me to plunder the spoils of our enemies.” Durandal raised the spear. “Do you have another weapon to give me?”
I’m going to ignore his comment about the Godking. My idol’s not a grave robber. Maybe Durandal’s impression of the Godking was skewed after spending millennia by himself. That must be it. As for a different weapon…
“No.” I wasn’t allowed to carry weapons as a luggage-bearing slave. The bag was just filled with necessities for survival.
“Then I’ll be keeping this. I don’t think you’ll be able to keep us out of danger by yourself.”
Did he just call me incompetent? I’m very competent! How rude. Actually … compared to the Godking, I guess anyone would be classified as incompetent. I have to work hard to meet Durandal’s expectations! …Or at least not disappoint him too greatly. I nodded to myself. Work hard, Lucia.
“You agree?” Durandal had a strange expression on his face.
“Eh?” What did I just agree to? Think, Lucia. He called you incompetent. “No! I’m competent!”
He shrugged. “I’m still keeping this spear.”
“But you’re a sword spirit.” I’ve never heard of a weapon spirit using a weapon that didn’t resemble its weapon body.
“And you’re part squirrel. Does that mean you fight using squirrels?”
“That’s different!” What the hell was he saying!? Was there something wrong in his head? Did thousands of years of solitude ruin his sanity?
“If you can learn how to use a sword, why can’t I learn how to use a spear?”
Why did that feel like another jab at my intellect? Forget it. You don’t have to argue with the senile, old man who happens to be ridiculously attractive. Gah! He’s a weapon spirit, Lucia. When you grow old and wrinkly, he’ll still be flaunting his awesome body. You stand no chance in hell.
“Then keep the stupid spear!” Did I just yell? Oops.
At least he didn’t get angry at me. I don’t want to pee myself again—the first time was embarrassing enough. I can’t believe I had to clean myself with the prince’s towels. Clean? Oh, right. I have to do the dishes. I grabbed the pot. It’s sparkling?
“I cleaned the dishes and gathered everything important while you were asleep. We can leave at any time.”
He did the dishes? But … he’s Durandal, a legendary sword spirit. What the f***? That’s even worse than making the emperor shine your shoes! “You did the dishes?”
“Is that a problem?”
“Because you’re Durandal!”
“And you’re Lucia.”
I don’t think he understood what I was trying to say. How many people would execute me on the spot for making their idol do the dishes? There’d probably be nothing left of me. I chewed my lower lip. How do I tell that to him in a way that won’t make him feel angry at me? While I was thinking, his hand landed on my ears. I raised my head. He was smiling. Not the cold, bloodthirsty kind of smile, but the nice kind. The kind that makes you want to tackle him and snuggle against his chest and lick his neck and take off his clo—. Lucia!
“Don’t worry about my status as a godly weapon who’s way beyond your league. You’re my master now. Do you think the Godking did his own dishes? No, that asshole made me do them.”
But it’s fine if a legend makes another legend do the chores. I don’t have that right. And did he just admit that I was way under his league? Well, I guess that’s true, so I’ll forgive him. Ah. It makes me tingly when he scratches me there. Don’t stop. Sadly, he did.
“Let’s leave? We can’t stay here forever.”
And go where? I can’t go back to the empire now that the prince is dead. Oh right, I killed him. Does that make me a bad person now? “Where do we go?”
An evil-looking smile appeared on Durandal’s face, and I couldn’t help but shiver. What did he have in mind?
“The Valley of Beasts.”
“It may be a bit dangerous, but danger will help you improve faster.”
Was he a sadist? Why did it seem like he was imagining me in perilous situations? But how come I’ve never heard of the Valley of Beasts? Could he be talking about that place? “The Valley of Beasts? Is it the canyon that separates the fae from the demons?”
His smile widened. “So you know it.”
“Oh.” How do I say this? “But it was converted into a trading post before I was even born?”
Durandal’s face froze. Did I break him again? I waved my hand in front of his body, but there was no reaction. “D-Durandal?” Ah, he’s working again.
“Then the Snow Queen’s Forest?”
The Snow Queen’s Forest? Did he want to eat ice cream and build snowmen? “The tourist resort?”
Durandal’s face cramped. “Tourist resort? I’m talking about the forest that the Snow Queen lives in with the giant, carnivorous rabbits.”
“Yeah, me too. The number of adventurers exploring her land dwindled, and it became more profitable for her to turn it into a tourist resort. Now everyone goes there to eat ice cream and play with the rabbits. Can we go?”
But I wanted ice cream. A sigh escaped from my lips.
“Are there any dangerous areas with lots of wild beasts?”
Of course. But should I lie to him? If I told him, I think he’d make me go there, and I don’t want to die. Maybe I should lie to him. I’m going to lie to him.
“Don’t lie to me.”
I froze. “Y-you can read minds?” What the heck! That’s not fair at all! Has he been reading my thoughts this whole time?
Durandal sighed. “I can’t, but I’ll know if you’re lying.”
You better not be able to! There’s a giant tentacle monster behind you! Okay, good. He didn’t react. But I probably shouldn’t lie to him. “There’s the southern pass.”
“Isn’t that where the dwarves live?”
“No? They live in Anvilrock Mountain.”
“It looks like all my knowledge of the continent has become worthless,” Durandal said and frowned. “Then let’s go to the southern pass. I’ll teach you there.”
“Can’t you teach me somewhere more peaceful? Like, um, a meadow of flowers or a small farm in the middle of nowhere?”
I stiffened. Why’s he glaring at me like that!? “Y-yes?”
“Do you know what makes the world go round?”
“Um. Angular momentum?”
“The hell is that? The answer is money!”
“Do you have any money?”
I’m a slave. What money would I have? “No.”
“That’s why we need to make some. I’m a simple spirit. All I know how to do is kill things. And killing beasts will make me money.”
Make you money? Isn’t the money for me? What the hell? But I guess he does make sense. I can’t survive without money, and killing beasts is profitable. And I don’t think I’ll die under his protection, right? But I should probably get him a sword. What kind of sword spirit uses a spear? “Okay. I’ll listen to you.”
“Of course.” He nodded as if me listening to my own weapon was the most natural thing in the world. But why did he look so sinister? He’s definitely a sadist. Goodbye, peaceful days. You were a good friend.